GR-ACY — Get Real Alcohol Choice & Consequences for Youth
Many adolescents are risk takers who feel invincible. Rarely do they consider the consequences of their risk-taking behavior. Preventable injuries are the leading cause of death for those aged 14 to 25 years. Nationally, more than 40% of these unintentional deaths are the result of motor vehicle crashes and 40% of these crashes are alcohol or drug related. In the Richmond Metropolitan area, we have seen a 46% increase in the number of juvenile trauma admissions to VCU Medical Center from 2004 to 2006.
GR-ACY Educational Program
GR-ACY offers juveniles the opportunity to observe patients across the patient care continuum. Following their observation of the patient experience posttraumatic injury,the juvenile will participate in simulation activities to reinforce the consequences and to “make it real” for them, such as a wheelchair obstacle course, the Intoxiclock, and “Fatal Vision” goggles.
To reinforce the educational program, the participants will journal their experiences and complete at-home exercises, such as writing their own obituary and discussing the experience with their parents and attending a 12-step meeting.
Two educational workshops will be offered during the program. The first workshop: “Alcohol and its effects on you, your family and the community”, will be presented by VCUMC substance abuse staff. This workshop will be presented to the juveniles and their parents. In the second workshop, “Judicial and Legal Choices”, parents and teens learn the criminal, judicial, and legal consequences of underage alcohol and drug use.
The final phase of the program is a community service component. Each program participant will provide thirty hours of community service to VCUMC within six weeks of completion of the GR-ACY educational program. In addition, participants will complete surveys and be tracked for recidivism for one year after the program.